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Olympus BioScapes 2014
2014's Olympus BioScapes competition highlights microscopic views of living things ranging from beautiful flower buds to bizarre barnicles.
The Olympus BioScapes contest celebrates some of the most astonishing images of life seen through a microscope. Take a look at the top 10 images in this year's contest, plus some the honorable mentions.
This photo of two mosquito pupae by Jerzy Rojkowski of Krakow, Poland, received an honorable mention.
This image is from a video of neural activity in a living zebrafish brain that won 10th place in the contest. The video, by Philipp Keller, Fernando Amat and Misha Ahrens from Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Janelia Research Campus, shows fast 3-D recordings of the entire larval brain.
This image of a green coneheaded planthopper nymph by Igor Siwanowicz of HHMI's Janelia Research Campus won ninth place. The insects are accomplished jumpers, able to accelerate at a staggering 500 times the force of gravity. To synchronize the movement of their hind legs, segments of the legs that are known as trochanters are coupled with a pair of cogs.
The eighth-place image is a microscopic close-up showing the mouth parts of a vampire moth. This view was captured by Matthew Lehnert and Ashley Lash of Kent State University. The proboscis was imaged at 10x and shows scale-like structures known as legulae, as well as tearing hooks and erectile barbs that facilitate the acquisition of fruit juices and mammalian blood when the moth is feeding.
This photo of the of the butter daisy flower by Oleksandr Holovachov of Ekuddsvagen, Sweden, won seventh place.
Sixth place in the Olympus BioScapes contest went to this picture of a worm larva, representing a type known as a magelonid polychaete. David Johnston of Southampton General Hospital in England found the larva in a plankton sample.
This photo of a rat brain's cerebral cortex shows cell nuclei in blue, astrocytes in yellow, and blood vessels in red. The picture by Madelyn May of Hanover, New Hampshire, won fifth place.
This image of two weevils (Phyllobius roboretanus) won fourth place for Csaba Pinter of Keszthely, Hungary.
This photo of barnacle appendages by Igor Siwanowicz won third place. The appendages sweep plankton and other food into the barnacle's shell for digestion.
Second place went to this image of a rat brain cerebellum by Thomas Deerinck of the National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research at the University of California at San Diego.
The first-place entry in the Olympus BioScapes contest is a video showing multiple views of fruit fly embryonic development. The microscopic views were captured by William Lemon, Fernando Amat and Philipp Kellerif of the HHMI Janelia Research Campus. This embryo was recorded in 30-second intervals over a period of 24 hours, starting three hours after egg laying. The newly hatched larva begins to crawl off the screen at the end of the video.
This image of an orange-striped green sea anemone by Damon Tighe received an honorable mention.
A jumping spider looks into the camera in this honorable-mention photo by Francis Prior of Liverpool, England.
A Shepherd's purse seed pod was treated in a lye-water solution to render the pod's outer wall nearly transparent, as seen in this photo by Edwin Lee. The image received an honorable mention.
This microscopic-scale view of a peacock feather by Charles Krebs of Issaquah, Washington, was awarded an honorable mention.
Another honorable mention went to this image of a mouse small intestine on the 15th day of embryonic development, captured by John Hatch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
Pollen grains are visible on the anthers of a wildflower known as the Robert geranium or Herb Robert in this honorable-mention image by Karl Gaff of Dublin, Ireland.
This image of a retina by Thomas Deerinck was awarded an honorable mention.
A lousefly is the focus of this honorable-mention image by Yousef Al Habshi of ADCO In Abu Dhabi. These biting flies are commonly found in the nests of the common swift bird (Apus apus) in Europe and Asia. The adult lousefly produces larvae in the late summer months, which turn into pupae and lie dormant during the winter months inside the vacated swift nest. Adult flies hatch in the spring, when the first eggs are laid by returning birds, and feed on the birds' blood.
This image of a paramecium by Arturo Agostino of Scordino, Italy, received an honorable mention.
•Gallery: See winners of the 2013 BioScapes contest